Couscous Recipes: Authentic Couscous Recipes from Morocco

Couscous is probably the food most people instantly associate with Morocco. In fact, it is the staple of not only Moroccan cuisine but most of North Africa (Algeria, Tunisia and Libya).

So what is couscous? The term itself comes from the Berber language in which it is called seksou. It consists of small grains the main ingredient of which is semolina – a coarsely ground type of durum wheat. The grains are about 1mm (1/16 inch) in size, and their texture, colour and shape resemble very much rice. These tiny grains make an ideal base for a lot dishes, much the same way a bed of rice is used today.

The traditional way of making couscous is very time consuming. In Moroccan homes, women gather together and produce large quantities of couscous by separating and mixing together the grains of semolina and then sieving and steaming them repeatedly. These days, with the global appeal of couscous, it is available in supermarkets in pre-packaged form that has already been dried and steamed.

The sauces accompanying couscous are wonderfully varied. In Morocco, there is a great deal of ingredients used, different flavourings and obviously rich regional variations in preparing couscous in the cities, country side and the Sahara. In this section, I will present you with a range of authentic couscous recipes from different parts of Morocco with a brief cultural background – essential to appreciate the dish! – and the best ways to prepare it.